Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 2

Posted: December 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 2

13. Not even the grace of the Holy Spirit can actualize wisdom in the saints unless there is an intellect capable of receiving it; or spiritual knowledge unless there is a faculty of intelligence that can receive it; or faith unless there is in the intellect and the intelligence full assurance about the realities to be disclosed hereafter and until then hidden from everyone; or gifts of healing unless there is natural compassion; or any other gift of grace without the disposition and faculty capable of receiving it. On the other hand, a man cannot acquire a single one of these gifts with his natural faculties unless aided by the divine power that bestows them. All the saints show that God’s grace does not suspend man’s natural powers; for, after receiving revelations of divine realities, they inquired into the spiritual principles contained in what had been revealed to them.

This expands on the theme of synergy. If we do not have the natural capacity or predisposition for a gift, grace cannot impose it on us. I think the example of healing is a good one. If we do not have compassion, if we do not suffer with those who need healing, how can God’s grace give us a gift for healing of any sort? God does not overpower us and turn us into marionettes. He heals, completes, and empowers us to be fully human as we were created to be. God overflows with grace. In one sense, we lead powerless lives because we choose to don spiritual raincoats.


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